Wellness in the digital age: A glimpse into the 2024 Indian healthtech landscape
With many interesting developments unfolding in healthtech, patient-centric business models will establish themselves as the way forward for 2024.
This year was an excellent one for the growth of India’s health-tech sector. The ecosystem is currently home to nearly 9950 health-tech companies, driven by the rise of D2C wellness brands, digital therapeutics, and innovative AI solutions for mental health.
Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate seeing several game-changing advancements that will continue to tackle critical challenges in Indian healthcare. A wave of new-age developments, powered by artificial intelligence, robotics, and policy changes, will position the industry for significant growth and innovation in the years to come.
Insurtech for the digital age
Fueled by increased funding and slated for an impressive growth trajectory, India’s health insurance market registered 18.92% growth year-on-year in the first half of the year.
With health insurance premiums continuing to grow, the landscape is being reshaped by innovative insurtech firms that leverage predictive modeling and data analytics to offer customers personalized risk management strategies.
Adding to this momentum, government policies are playing a pivotal role by fostering collaborations between private healthcare providers, banks, and central institutions, thereby increasing choices for customers and enhancing the end-user experience.
Femtech, a critical subsector that is revolutionising women’s health and wellness, has made waves in the past year and will gain further traction in 2024 as well. The space is projected to reach a valuation of $60 billion by 2027, making it a compelling landscape for growth and investment.
Originally focused on reproductive care, Fem-Tech has broadened its horizons, now encompassing fertility tracking, sexual wellness, and personalised menstrual education. However, it remains imperative to continue addressing the digital divide in India and ensure equitable access to Fem-Tech tools in Tier II and III cities as well. This is a crucial step toward making these innovations widely accessible and impactful.
Navigating mental healthcare
Amid the concerning backdrop of an alarmingly low ratio of just 0.75 psychiatrists per 100,000 individuals in India, mental healthcare is in urgent need of intervention.
By leveraging mental health apps, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality tools, health-tech companies are tackling accessibility challenges while also creating confidentiality and driving down costs. AI will also play a pivotal role in addressing patient non-adherence - Predictive algorithms have the potential to anticipate instances of non-compliance, allowing for timely interventions to ensure individuals adhere to their treatment plans.
Tech in radiology
In India, there is a significant shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly in radiology and diagnostics. To put things in perspective, Europe has 13 radiologists per 1 lakh patients, the UK has 8.5 for the same population, and Malaysia has around 4. India lags behind with just 1 radiologist per 1 lakh patients.
To address this, many companies are actively developing technology solutions tailored to specific modalities and conditions. While India has yet to witness a groundbreaking advancement in this sector, we are optimistic about the significant growth potential it holds.
The return of teleconsultation
Teleconsultation experienced a substantial surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, post-COVID, India reverted to traditional brick-and-mortar doctor consultations. It’s important to note that specialised, high-quality teleconsultation is a key solution to address the lack of access to quality healthcare. Additionally, it is a very effective option for conditions that may carry a social stigma and will see a significant uptake in the coming years.
With many interesting developments unfolding in healthtech, patient-centric business models will establish themselves as the way forward for 2024. Offering precision-driven healthcare solutions will be at the forefront, while new-age companies continue to facilitate greater accessibility to digital health services across the country.
Nihar Parikh is the Founder of venture capital firm 4point0 Health Ventures
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)